B-152619, OCTOBER 29, 1963, 43 COMP. GEN. 423

B-152619: Oct 29, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

MINIMUM WEIGHTS UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSPORTED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT AT THE COMMUTED RATE BASED ON THE ACTUAL WEIGHT MOVED. THE MINIMUM WEIGHT PROVISIONS BEING INTENDED TO ENABLE APPROPRIATE REIMBURSEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT TO EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO MAKE PAYMENTS TO CARRIERS ON THE BASIS OF ESTABLISHED MINIMUM WEIGHTS ALTHOUGH ACTUALLY SHIPPING LESSER AMOUNTS AND NOT TO GRANT INCREASED BENEFITS TO EMPLOYEES WHO MOVE THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES AND DO NOT HAVE A CHARGE BASED ON A MINIMUM WEIGHT. THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WERE AUTHORIZED BY ORDER DATED AUGUST 30. TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ALSO WAS AUTHORIZED.

B-152619, OCTOBER 29, 1963, 43 COMP. GEN. 423

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - COMMUTATION - PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE USE - ACTUAL V. MINIMUM WEIGHTS UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSPORTED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT AT THE COMMUTED RATE BASED ON THE ACTUAL WEIGHT MOVED, RATHER THAN THE MINIMUM WEIGHT INCLUDED IN THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND SECTION 2.1D OF BUREAU OF BUDGET CIRCULAR A-56, DATED APRIL 30, 1962, THE MINIMUM WEIGHT PROVISIONS BEING INTENDED TO ENABLE APPROPRIATE REIMBURSEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT TO EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO MAKE PAYMENTS TO CARRIERS ON THE BASIS OF ESTABLISHED MINIMUM WEIGHTS ALTHOUGH ACTUALLY SHIPPING LESSER AMOUNTS AND NOT TO GRANT INCREASED BENEFITS TO EMPLOYEES WHO MOVE THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES AND DO NOT HAVE A CHARGE BASED ON A MINIMUM WEIGHT.

TO T. R. ALLEN, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OCTOBER 29, 1963:

ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1963, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER FOR $118.46, IN FAVOR OF DAVID L. SIMS, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, COVERING EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM HAY SPRINGS, NEBRASKA, TO CASPER, WYOMING.

THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WERE AUTHORIZED BY ORDER DATED AUGUST 30, 1963, TO TRAVEL BETWEEN THE POINTS MENTIONED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT THE RATE OF 12 CENTS PER MILE BUT LIMITED TO COMMON CARRIER COSTS FOR ALL PERSONS OFFICIALLY TRAVELING. TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ALSO WAS AUTHORIZED.

THE TRAVEL AS WELL AS THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE GOODS AND EFFECTS WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON SEPTEMBER 5. THE OFFICIAL MILEAGE BETWEEN THE TWO STATIONS IS SHOWN ON THE VOUCHER AS 208 MILES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS PROPOSED FOR THE TRAVEL AT THE PRESCRIBED MILEAGE RATE OF 12 CENTS OF $24.96, SUCH AMOUNT BEING LESS THAN THE COST WOULD HAVE BEEN BY COMMON CARRIER.

WE HAVE HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE PAID AT THE PRESCRIBED COMMUTED RATE FOR MOVEMENT OF HIS EFFECTS NOTWITHSTANDING THAT PAYMENT WAS MADE ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON THE SAME TRIP. 34 COMP. GEN. 29. IN AN UNPUBLISHED DECISION OF NOVEMBER 14, 1962, B-150180, WE SAID THAT THE FACT THAT THE EFFECTS WERE TRANSPORTED IN THE EMPLOYEE'S PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WOULD NOT PREVENT HIM FROM BEING REIMBURSED AT THE PROPER COMMUTED RATE.

IN THE CASE UNDER CONSIDERATION, THE EMPLOYEE WHILE PERFORMING OFFICIAL TRAVEL IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED CAR FOR WHICH HE WILL BE PAID AT THE ESTABLISHED MILEAGE RATE, TRANSPORTED 360 POUNDS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS. FOR THIS SERVICE HE CLAIMS THE SUM OF $85.50 REPRESENTING 1,000 POUNDS MINIMUM WEIGHT AT $8.55 PER HUNDRED POUNDS. THE CLAIM IS BASED UPON TABLE 4 OF GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CIRCULAR NO. 263 (COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS). AND THE FACT THAT CASPER, WYOMING, IS MORE THAN 5 MILES FROM "TRAFFIC LANES.'

TABLE 4 OF THE CIRCULAR PROVIDES IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THE MINIMUM WEIGHT ON WHICH CHARGES ARE ASSESSED BY HOUSEHOLD GOODS CARRIERS, AND ON WHICH ALLOWANCES SHALL BE MADE UNDER THIS TABLE IS 500POUNDS, EXCEPT THAT THE MINIMUM WEIGHT SHALL BE 1,000 POUNDS FOR SHIPMENTS FROM, TO, OR BETWEEN POINTS WHICH ARE MORE THAN 5 MILES FROM THE ,TRAFFIC LANES" OR "REGULAR ROUTES OF TRAVEL" SHOWN ON PAGES 21 THROUGH 25.

SECTION 2.1D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A-56, DATED APRIL 30, 1962, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT "IF THE WEIGHT TRANSPORTED IS LESS THAN THE MINIMUM WEIGHT CHARGED, THE REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE AT THE MINIMUM WEIGHT CHARGED INSTEAD OF THE ACTUAL WEIGHT TRANSPORTED.'

THE MINIMUM WEIGHT PROVISIONS WERE INCLUDED IN THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE AND IN SECTION 2.1D ABOVE, TO ENABLE APPROPRIATE REIMBURSEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT TO EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE PAYMENTS TO CARRIERS ON THE BASIS OF SUCH ESTABLISHED MINIMUM WEIGHTS ALTHOUGH THEY ACTUALLY SHIP LESSER AMOUNTS. THE PURPOSE OF THE PROVISIONS WAS TO PREVENT HARDSHIP OR LOSS TO EMPLOYEES WHO SHIP BY COMMON CARRIERS RATHER THAN TO GRANT INCREASED BENEFITS IN CASES IN WHICH EMPLOYEES MOVE THEIR GOODS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES AND DO NOT HAVE A CHARGE BASED ON A MINIMUM WEIGHT.

OUR VIEW IS THAT WHILE THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT AT THE PROPER COMMUTED RATE FOR TRANSPORTING HIS EFFECTS HE IS NOT ENTITLED, UNDER THE FACTS STATED, TO THE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF THE QUOTED MINIMUM WEIGHT PROVISIONS.

THE VOUCHER, UPON BEING MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED.